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May 19, 2011

Global Weirding: Heavy rains and flooding and droughts will be the new normal

Climate scientists have been saying this for years. And Al Gore said it in his AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH. Global climate chaos is redrawing where water goes on the earth's surface. Droughts, floods, massive snows--these will keep happening as long as we keep our climate out of balance. Heavy Rains and Flooding May Be “New Norm” | Union of Concerned Scientists
WASHINGTON (May 18, 2011) – Extreme weather events, such as the heavy rains that recently flooded the Mississippi River, likely will occur more frequently in the future, prompting local governments to prepare for the impact of climate change, according to scientists and adaptation experts participating in a telephone press conference held today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). “Climate change is about more than warming. What we’re really seeing is global ‘weirding,’” said climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, associate professor at Texas Tech University. “It is altering the character and conditions of the places we know and love. For many places around the world, what we are likely to see could be feast or famine—more frequency of weather at the extremes, from intense storms to prolonged droughts. “We can’t attribute any one event to climate change,” she added, “but we do know that every event that happens is already superimposed on very different background conditions than we had 50 years ago.” States, municipalities and businesses—especially the insurance industry—are keenly aware of the trend toward more frequent extreme weather events. In a recent interview with Wall Street analysts, Allstate CEO Thomas Wilson said: “It’s just that you see a lot more severe weather. We are acting and running our Homeowners business as if that is a permanent change as opposed to an anomaly.”

May 14, 2011

Receipts are coated in possibly dangerous chemical

Take this with a huge grain of salt. The Huff Post is notoriously awful when it comes to health reporting. Laurie David: Hold That Receipt, Thank You
That receipt is most likely covered with bisphenol A (BPA), a toxic substance that has been connected to all sorts of medical problems including interfering with brain development and increasing the risk of cancer. This chemical coats many paper receipts and reacts with other chemicals and heat to develop the ink on the paper. Are you sitting down? The levels of BPA on those receipts are much higher than the ones found in canned food linings. BPA doesn't stay there either making it easy to be absorbed by anyone handling the paper. Now I am thinking of all those teenagers with their summer jobs, the pregnant cashier at my supermarket, the cute clerk at the post office handling BPA credit card and cash receipts all day long, week in and week out. And if those young or old sales clerks have moist hands, or just applied some lotion to their dry skin, there is an increased level of absorption.